Tag Archives: teens

Dear Diary, My Friends Are Jealous

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No, seriously, they are. Which I think is stupid but hey…I guess since they know all of the intimate details of my life they must feel like they are lacking or something. Anyway, let me tell you about my week…so I can make the rest of you feel jealous…Started out with my desk top dying. I know I know, first world probs…whatev. Put it in context. The context is I LIVE IN A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY. Believe me, if I was in West Africa this whole blog would be about Ebola, if I was in the Middle East it would be all about war and if I was in Scotland, it would be about how stupid my countrymen are. But I live here so…

Follow up the desk top dying with the bathroom sink deciding that it wanted new pipes. It didn’t consult with me before it made this decision, just went ahead and started leaking. So, the plumber came and cut away part of my kitchen ceiling, told me there was some sort of nest near the pipes and he would be back next week. Let’s keep track…that’s a dead computer, a leaking bathroom sink necessitating removal of the kitchen ceiling and discovery of a nest that has now been disturbed and is directly above the hole. So far so good. Jealous yet? Oh, did I mention that my debit card number was stolen and my checking account cleaned out? Yes well, what can I say? I’m just luckier than you..

I had a few days respite. Mainly because I had no money. I just sat in my kitchen, below the hole, with a shotgun awaitin fer that dern animal to show it’s furry little face. Ok, I’m exaggerating. I didn’t have a shot gun. I had a tennis racket. And iffen that animal pokes it’s head outta that there hole I’ma whoop it square inatween it’s eyes and cook it fer dinner. That part I am serious about. We’re hungry.

Next up, I decided to make dinner. I decided on potatoes. I took out my mandolin and played the theme from Deliverance. Just kidding. A mandolin is a kitchen aid that slices stuff with a wicked sharp blade. It is tilted at an angle and you slide whatever it is you need sliced back and forth and it makes uniform slices. It comes with this handy little tool that stabs the vegetable so that your hands stay safe and far away from the very sharp blade. But I rarely use the handy little tool. Because, duh. So, I was sliding the potato and it was slicing nicely and then….the potato slipped.

And I sliced off a chunk of my middle finger. Now, I have done things like this before so I walked over to the sink to run my finger under water and I saw bone. Yup. You’re turning green with jealousy now aren’t you? So, I scream for my kid who takes her time because she think I am yelling for her because the dog pooped or something and she is going to have to clean it up. Now there I stand with a good chunk of my finger missing, blood everywhere and the kid just meandering down the stairs la tee da….I scream ” GET THE DOG WE HAVE TO GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM NOW!” I swear I have never seen a teenager move so fast. She chased the dog into his crate and came running back. I was already in the car. As she came out the door it occurred to me that I might need the missing chunk which was laying somewhere in the pile of potato slices.

I yelled for my kid to find the chunk of finger in case it needed to be reattached and grab a Coke out of the fridge as I hadn’t eaten all day and I was feeling a little woosey and the ER is about 25 minutes away. She didn’t even question it. Just turned around, found my finger chunk, grabbed a Coke and ran to the car. What followed was 25 minutes of me driving, singing, swearing and laughing at the absurdity of it all. My kid sat in the passenger seat, supporting my arm so my finger stayed above my head and watching me for any signs that I might be passing out from loss of blood.

We got to the ER and waited. It wasn’t crowded. Just 2 people ahead of me. The triage nurse asked me all of the usual questions and then didn’t believe me when I said I have never had a surgery. No idea why she didn’t believe me but she sat there stunned and then said “Are you sure?” Um…yeah…pretty sure I would remember having a surgery or at least someone would have told me or I would have had a scar or…wait….maybe I HAVE had a surgery…maybe this nurse who I have never met before in my life is right…I mean, she IS a nurse and I am just some lady with a chopped off finger chunk, a dead computer, a leaking bathroom and some sort of critter living in my ceiling hole. What do I know? Maybe she was just jealous.They finally took me back to the exam room and the nurse said something no one wants to hear when going into an ER ” It’s a little messy in here”. The Doctor came in. He was very funny. He looked at the finger chunk my kid had so thoughtfully brought along and held the whole time because it grossed me out to even think about it. He said we could make a necklace out of it if we wanted but it wasn’t going back where it came from. He ripped off the paper towel and made my kid look at my wound as he said ” YOU should have been slicing the potatoes!” Then he bandaged me up while I sat there making ugly faces and singing “This is the grossest thing that has ever happened to me and I am so grossed out cause this is gross gross me out the door grossey gross gross…” It was a pretty good song.

The Doctor asked me all the usual questions : chest pain? no. throat pain? no. diabetus? no. allergies? no. surgery? no. And he paused…surgery? no. None? no. Ever? no…What the heck? Maybe I need surgery for something? I mean, now that you mention it, my gallbladder has been feeling sort of off now and then…will that make my finger stop hurting? Medical professionals are weird.

He left. We sat there waiting for the nurse to come back to see if I had changed my mind about having had surgery in the past. I stuck by my original answer of no, no surgeries and they let me go. I left my finger chunk on the tray in case they needed it for someone else. I’m generous like that.

So, my darling friends, if you weren’t jealous of my fabulous life before I know you are now. Also, I typed this whole post with just my left hand. It took HOURS. All so you can envy me. You want to be me. And here are some pictures for you to drool over…

In the waiting room...holding the finger chunk in what shall hence forth be referred to as my Good Hand

In the waiting room…holding the finger chunk in what shall hence forth be referred to as my Good Hand

The Finger Chunk

The Finger Chunk

Lookit ma finger!!!!

Lookit ma finger!!!!

No for real, this face makes my finger feel better

No for real, this face makes my finger feel better

This is my

This is my “does this bandage make my finger look fat” face…

Ask me if I have had surgery in the past again...go ahead...ASK ME.

Ask me if I have had surgery in the past again…go ahead…ASK ME.

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It’s My First Thanksgiving Charlie Brown!

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Yup, that was what we had in our fridge Thanksgiving 1990

My first Thanksgiving on my own was memorable. Not for the gorgeous bird or the huge table of family and friends. But because I was 17, living with my best friend in Houston, Texas. And she was a vegetarian. But I was determined to make us a turkey. After all, we were grown ups!! Her boyfriend was coming but not until the next day with one of his pals. I just couldn’t let Thanksgiving pass without a celebration. My mother was coming also but not arriving until 2 days after the holiday.

I had no idea what I was doing. Not one clue as to how to begin. So, I called my dad. He got me started. First, buy a turkey. Ok, that was priceless info because I  thought that turkeys just showed up in the kitchen. Put the bird in a pan and turn on the oven (my dad was a gourmet cook who didn’t hold out much hope for my traditional thanksgiving being that I was 17 and didn’t realize I had to actually go and buy the turkey). Got it. Bird, pan….wait… was I supposed to take off the wrapping? Ok, hot wrapping off the bird. So far so good. I made real, undercooked, lumpy, mashed potatoes and stuffing out of a box (the best kind). My best friend made her green bean casserole and some other gross tofu/veggie dishes that I would never eat because gross.

My favorite part of the meal is the gravy. It always has been and always will be. I could drink gravy. I love gravy. Now, how do I make gravy? I had no idea. Hello Dad? Ok, I needed flour. Or cornstarch. Yeah, we were 17 years old….I didn’t even know what cornstarch was. I thought it was what you used on shirt collars. The grocery stores were closed by this time, so I went to my across the way neighbors. They were a couple who were, um, 17 years old!!! No, they didn’t have any flour or cornstarch (don’t you use that for keeping collars stiff?). I tried some of the other neighbors. Most were gone to friends or families for dinner. And the rest didn’t have flour or cornstarch. But Terry was home. He was the super special guy that lived below us and he was already half in the bag. He assured me I could make gravy with the coarsely ground cornmeal he had in the cupboard, as long as I invited him up for the festivities. Excellent!!

And off I went to make my fav part of thanksgiving, confident that coarsely ground cornmeal would do the trick! How exciting to be so grown up and independent and making our very first thanksgiving dinner!!! My best friend and I set our tiny table with what we considered our best china. She had bought some cool plates at Pier One….yep, we were all grown up!! I stirred that coarsely ground cornmeal into the gravy for about an hour trying to thicken the drippings. No luck. Come ON!!! It’s cornmeal you really can’t get more traditional than that!!

2 hours later Terry showed up ready for some yummy thanksgiving dishes. Instead, he got lumpy mashed potatoes, turkey broth with what resembled saw dust shavings in it and some tofu sweet potato disaster (it very well may have been delish but it had tofu in it so it was just simply nasty in my book). The turkey itself was not bad. Except for the bag of salmonella that no one told me to take out before I cooked it. What kind of a joke is that? A whole bag filled with the grossest parts of the bird!!! And I was supposed to TOUCH that thing???

Despite it all we had a lovely dinner, all grown up like. Since then, I have been fortunate to have some of the best thanksgiving dinners with some of the most wonderful people. But I will never forget that very first one, which despite the food fiasco, was filled with good friends. I have since grown up to make the most incredible gravy anyone has ever tasted, I know anyone who tried to down that first gravy experiment would agree!!

And so begins the tradition of M&M’s, Honey roasted peanuts and cat in a glass…

What is Wrong with the Youts Today?

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80's day at school...doing her best impression as me as a teen...she actually DOES those silly school days activities...weird

When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember being worried that I was going to give birth to a cheerleader. Not literally, I went to lamaze class, I sawthe videos of what babies looked like when they popped out. They were naked, not dressed up in clothes to give us parents an idea of who they would be come. But wouldn’t that be nice? If our babies came with a clue as to the kind of kid they would become? I was not a cheerleader as a kid. I was a freak, an “alternative”, a crazy punk. I was deep, I was an activist, my concerns were far bigger than the football team and if I had latest the Benetton sweatshirt.

So, if I gave birth to a kid who didn’t share my view of the world, a kid who was only concerned with how she looked or whose only “cause” was to campagne for universal boob jobs, what was I going to do? I knew that I would have some influence on the type of kid my kid would become. But I also knew that some of who she was destined to be was already programmed as soon as she was conceived. My mother was a normal teen. She had normal friends, her biggest “FTW” (contrary to popular belief that does not stand for For The Whales…) moment was when she and her friends hid a bottle of vodka in the toilet tank on her class trip to Washington DC. No, they didn’t get caught, no they didn’t get so drunk they almost died. But boy oh boy, did they believe they were totally bad ass for that one!

Me, on the other hand, well, let’s just say that I didn’t go on any stinkin class trip and I never hid my vodka. I went to marches on the President’s front lawn for animal rights, I protested wars, I hung out with skin heads (although I didn’t agree with their philosophies). I had ANGST. I listened to the Sex Pistols and the Descendents and the Ramones. You could find me  in seedy places just to hear bands. My life, as a teen, was about as different from my mother’s as it could be. So, different that she didn’t know where to begin when it came to setting limits or punishments. I think I confused her. If I had been a marching band kid, or involved in school government she would have probably been able to raise me with her eyes shut and one arm tied behind her back.

Now, back to my kid. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and kind. She is also 15 years old which means she is  a total teen sometimes. She watches Keeping Up With The Kardasians….seriously. She went through a stage where she was obsessed with Paris Hilton. She spray tanned herself orange in an effort to look more like a “star”. The people she aspires to are slackers who have billions to spend on being slackers. She is not a cheerleader, although sometimes I wish that she was. At least cheerleaders are cheering for SOMETHING!!! My kid seems to have all of my FTW attitude with none of the “Save the world” spirit. This is our biggest bone of contention.

How did I raise a kid who doesn’t know (or seem to care) what she believes in? Who doesn’t use her “cause” to get under my skin? How did I raise a kid who listens to rap (when she wants to piss me off)? Where did I go wrong? I have tried so very hard to give her my values and views on all things worldly and spiritual. Quite honestly, it wouldn’t even bother me if she had gone in the extreme opposite direction of what I have taught her. ANYTHING would be better than this lack of caring. What she does care about is  who won Next Top Model or who has the newest Abercrombie jeans. What did I do wrong?

When I went through confirmation class at church I argued and disagreed with what I was being taught. I went though confirmation because my mother said if I wanted to stop going to church, I had to be confirmed so that I was making a well-educated decision on exactly what I was rejecting. That sounded pretty fair to me. I did it. And promptly stopped going to church. I rejected my religion and began exploring “alternative” religions and concepts of faith. Partly to piss my mother off,  happy Lutheran church lady that she was, and partly because I was interested. I wasn’t one to be spoon fed anything and just believe it was right. I was one to test and re-test everything I was presented with and then decide if it was right for ME.  

My kid will be confirmed soon. She has to write a statement of faith. We worked on that yesterday. Or rather, I told her to write it, she claimed a case of the I-Don’t-Knows and that ended with me so frustrated I think my head spun around. I mean, come ON!! She’s a TEENAGER!!! She HAS to have an opinion, a view, an idea about what she believes? Nope. Why not? you might ask? Because she is MY teen. And the surest way to push my buttons is to act as if you just don’t care. She knows this. She installed my buttons so she knows exactly how to push them. And, after all, isn’t that her job as a teen, as MY kid? Is she not just carrying on the tradition of “pissing off your mother by being something she isn’t”?

She gets my sense of humor, she will support my causes, she loves much of what I love and she values much of what I value. But she is her own person. She is not a mini me and her path is not the same one I traveled. She has lived through just as much tragedy as I ever did and she is a pretty centered kid. I guess I have done something right. They say that the way your kid behaves as a toddler is a great indicator of how they will behave as a teen. And sure enough, she is using all the same stubborn tactics she used when she was 2. It is just way more frustrating now that she is 15.

She laughs at me when I yell at the Glenn Beck and Michael Savage on the radio. She really listens when I explain why I believe the things I believe. I know she is hearing me, I know somewhere inside of her is a person full of ideas to change the world. Just like my mother knew that someday I would be taking my own kids to confirmation class. I hate it when my mother  is right.

So, no, I didn’t get a cheerleader, I didn’t get a crazy punk, I got a kid who is brilliant in her own right and who knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly how to make me go insane. After all, isn’t that what I wished for? No namby pamby mamma’s kid for me! A kid with an independence and attitude! Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!